PETALING JAYA: A video circulated through WhatsApp indicates that two of four foreigners suspected of attempting to commit robbery were beaten up by members of the public.
It was previously reported by The Star that several witnesses had conducted a citizen’s arrest of the four foreigners who tried to rob a woman of at least RM3,000 in cash at a cash deposit machine at a bank in Taman Maluri, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
The report also quoted Cheras district police chief ACP Chong Kok Sin as saying two of the suspects had suffered head injuries in the ensuing struggle and had been sent to the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre for treatment.
The circulated video, however, seems to suggest that not much of a struggle had taken place but instead the two suspects had been beaten up by furious citizens who had arrested and surrounded them.
JK Associates principal consultant Khen Han Ming, commenting on the video, said the citizens had exposed themselves to action by the police when they chose to cause physical harm to the suspects.
“Those guys should know that if either one of the suspects died in the process, they could be charged for murder,” he told FMT.
“Excessive force should be restrained in such cases and it should be left to the police to interrogate the suspects. The suspects could also turn against those who conducted the citizen’s arrest in court.”
Khen pointed out that a citizen’s arrest was within the bounds of the law and those who witnessed a crime taking place could act to apprehend a suspect but excessive force must be avoided.
“Get hold of them and call the police immediately. Members of the public have no right to assault them even if they are suspects.”
He expressed concern that such heavy-handed methods had become common nowadays.
“Reasonable force, as in self-defence, is allowed but in the video, it can clearly be seen that the suspects were being assaulted instead.
“One cannot take the law into their own hands. That is why we have the law enforcement to arrest and investigate suspects and the courts to decide how to punish those found guilty.”